Archive for May, 2007

May 20, 2007

Gone in 120 seconds: cracking Wi-Fi security | The Register:

When WEP was compromised in 2001, the attack needed more than five million packets to succeed. During the summer of 2004, a hacker named KoreK published a new WEP attack (called chopper) that reduced by an order of magnitude the number of packets requested, letting people crack keys with hundreds of thousands of packets, instead of millions.

Last month, three researchers, Erik Tews, Andrei Pychkine and Ralf-Philipp Weinmann developed a faster attack (based on a cryptanalysis of RC4 by Andreas Klein), that works with ARP packets and just needs 85,000 packets to crack the key with a 95 per cent probablity. This means getting the key in less than two minutes.

There’s really not much else to say.


May 15, 2007

Mike the Mad Biologist:

The KPC gene confers resistance to all cephalosporins and ß-lactam antibiotics: basically, anything named “-cillin”, “-penem”, or “cef-” won’t kill it. Aztreonam doesn’t kill it either. And, of course, it happens to have evolved resistance to most of the other classes of antibiotics, so, like some Acinetobacter, it is only treatable with colistin and tigecycline, which works…except when resistance evolves in the patient, which has been observed multiple times (this is alarming given the relatively few times this therapy has been used). The KPC gene is found on a highly transmissible plasmid, which means it can be transferred within Klebsiella and can also spread to other Gram-negative bacteria (E. coli, Enterobacter, and others). The good news is that the plasmid is unstable: it doesn’t always manage to wind up in both daughter** cells after cell division.

May 15, 2007

DevilDucky – Introducing the Book:

Introducing the Book

Pretty cool if it works.

May 15, 2007

Of course if you didn’t just flood productive land willy-nilly there wouldn’t be so much rotting vegetation in the water.

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Project aims to extract dam methane:

Scientists in Brazil have claimed that a major source of greenhouse gas emissions could be curbed by capturing and burning methane given off by large hydro-electric dams.

It’s not clear how much energy the methane-capture process costs — if you did it right, I’d think you might be able to get a slef-sustaining fountain effect.

I wonder why that might be

May 15, 2007

BBC NEWS | Health | Breastfeeding advice ‘is ignored’:

Fewer than one in a hundred women follow government advice to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months, figures show.

And it’s entirely the fault of those nasty women, who just won’t stick with the program in the face of pressures from jobs, idiots in public places, disaccomodating restaurants, stores, gyms and pretty much everywhere else. If only they stay in the house as they ought

So that’s where the personal flying machine went

May 10, 2007


A little calculation shows that you could use about 8 of these to make a jet belt. If you didn’t mind going deaf.

Gives you a warm feeling

May 10, 2007

And I’m sure the control interface is impossible to hack.

Terminator style Flying-HK killbots join US, UK forces | The Register:

The MQ-9 is the most formidable killer robot currently in operation. It’s a big beast, 36 feet long with an 86-foot wingspan. It can fly for 14 hours without refuelling, going at a maximum speed of 300mph and as high as 50,000 feet – nine and a half miles up.

The US Air Force describes it as an “unmanned hunter/killer weapon system”. This term might perhaps have been coined by a fan of the classic Terminator movies, in which dystopian future battlegrounds are overflown by murderous Flying-HK death-droids intent on wiping out the last vestiges of human resistance to the machine overlords.

No wonder our local Quiznos is closed

May 10, 2007

…with a sign saying “due to technical and personnel problems”.

Death of a toasted sandwich salesman | The Register:

The latest knot in the tangled web of litigation surrounding the company arose out of the same circumstances that gave rise to this wave of class action activity. Quiznos forces its franchisees to buy all their ingredients from a Quiznos subsidiary at inflated prices and takes a hefty chunk of gross franchise

Gives you a warm feeling

May 10, 2007

Banks put customers in Swift Catch-22 | The Register:

people wanting to make international money transfers using the Belgian-based international banking co-operative Swift (as most do), have been asked to sign a form giving their approval for details of their transaction to be disclosed “to any Government entity, regulatory authority or to any person we reasonably think necessary for these purposes”.

These purposes being “fighting crime and terrorism” and “any applicable laws”. The disclaimer warns: “This may mean that personal information will be transferred outside the EEA to countries, which do not provide the same level of data protection as the UK.”

I particularly like the “any person we reasonably think necessary.” So if someone flashes a phony badge and they turn over their database that’s your problem.

May 10, 2007

Women are to blame for everything, including and especially male abuse towards them at Pandagon:

The fact that the bulk of misogynist energy is expended towards hating and abusing teenage girls is probably the theme of another post.

Because they wouldn’t go out with us in high school. OK, that’s probably oversimplified, but it’s got a kernel of truth in it the same way that Dinerstein’s idea about child-raising gives insight into the basis of patriarchy.